Breakups are never easy – not with a romantic partner, a best friend, or even a boss. In many instances, whether you had a great time working for an organisation or not, leaving always comes with some sadness. That’s okay because you don’t always have to feel good after making a life-changing decision, and feeling bad about it does not mean that you made the wrong decision. If you are looking to quit your job, then this post is for you.
People have many reasons for quitting – they want to take a break from the career world, explore self-employment, or even focus on academics. Sometimes, the reason they leave is that they have found another job which suits them better. Whatever the case, never burn your bridges with your current employer. Always leave gracefully and follow the right procedures.
Here are 8 ways to quit your job in the correct way.
1. If possible, schedule an in-person meeting
No one wants to receive bad news through email. It’s shocking and sometimes impersonal. Unless you have no other option, it’s always best to schedule a meeting with your boss and tell him you are leaving.
It also presents an excellent opportunity to thank them for the opportunities they’ve provided you and collaborate on a plan for wrapping up final projects before you leave. Your employer will possibly want to get some feedback from you on why you are leaving and where you are moving on to. It’s much easier to do all this in person. However, you still need to have written evidence of your resignation.
2. Give notice
For most people, the contract of employment clearly states a notice period. This gives your employer time to search for someone to fill your position. It also allows you to do a proper handover and possibly give orientation to the person who replaces you.
Leaving without proper notice is a breach of the contract and your employer may take legal action. But above that, you never want to burn your bridges because you never know what the future holds.
Usually, the standard time to give notice is a month before you leave. However, if you’ve signed an employment contract, make sure you’re honouring any rules around the length of notice.
3. Write a letter of resignation
Over and above your in-person meeting with the employer, you still need to write a letter of resignation. It gives concrete evidence of your decision to leave the organisation. It should include a concise statement that you are resigning, the date on which your resignation is effective, and a thank you note. If you like, you may also choose to explain the reason why you have chosen to resign.
4. Give feedback on why you are leaving
While it may sometimes be hard to articulate some things to your employer, feedback is always necessary. If it’s negative criticism, make sure to use extremely polite words. This will help the organisation to re-evaluate the working conditions and perhaps improve them for the people who come after you.
You should always prepare these points before you go in for the meeting or put them in the resignation letter. Remember, it’s not about what you say but how you say it. When articulated well, they will take negative criticism into consideration.
5. Show gratitude
No matter how bad an organisation is, there is almost always one good thing about them. You need to thank them for the experience, the lessons, and all that you have gained from them. Gratitude helps to soften the delivery of the ‘bad news’ to the employer. It makes the bittersweet moments a little more sweet.
According to career expert Andrew McCaskill, managers respond more positively to resignations when the employee expresses gratitude in their exit interviews or resignation letters.
6. Wrap up gracefully
Leaving an organisation is not always pretty. There will be a lot of work to do, including preparing handover reports and possibly training the next person. Even though at the back of your mind you are wrapping things up, always do it gracefully. It is your last assignment with the organisation and you will need to do it to the best of your ability. At the end of it all, you would want your employer to say, “We would hire her back in a heartbeat.”
Organize both the digital and paper files well to make things easy to find and offer to be in touch for questions and help after you leave.
7. Don’t tell your co-workers that you intend to resign beforehand
The relationship between you and your co-workers must always have boundaries. You never know who wants the best for you, and some are just there to sabotage you. Some employers may seem super friendly and nice, but that is not always the reality. You don’t want rumours travelling to your boss’s office about your resignation before you actually announce it. It is definitely not a good look, and you won’t be in control of how that news is delivered. Things could go south.
8. Write a goodbye letter to your clients and your co-workers
As part of networking for the future, don’t just ghost your clients. You don’t have to go into details about why you are leaving and where you are going. Thank them for working with you and express your gratitude for the opportunities and the experiences. In the end, you may choose to share your personal contacts in case they require anything in the future.
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